This movie season I feel like an honorary citizen of Boston. First came The Town, a hard-boiled, authentic look at a gang of bank robbers in Charlestown. And now there’s The Fighter, an equally hard-boiled and equally authentic exploration of a pair of boxing brothers in Lowell. These are two of the best films I’ve seen this year and their setting is a key reason why.
The Fighter tells the true tale of welterweight Micky Ward, an introspective bruiser whose own family proved as formidable an obstacle to his success as anybody he faced in the ring.
But unlike a long line of small town dreamers who strive to succeed so they can escape their situation, Ward wants to win as much for Lowell as himself. The central conflict of the film is whether he can be a champion without abandoning the people and the place he loves.